Despite general agreement amongst educators, both in Australia and other countries, that an authoritarian inspection system, whatever its virtues, has outlived some of its original purpose, reformist demands in this aspect of school administration have been slow to be met. In N.S.W. inspectors of schools have advanced proposals for change and the Department of Education has implemented some of these, together with other recommendations from its own committee of inquiry into the inspectorial system. The result has been a further liberalization of school inspection, although some traditional aspects remain. Arising out of the reforms are questions about whether inspections are necessary, how accountability and promotion are to be managed if they are not, and whether inspectors are justified in feeling insecure. The view is held that the growing professionalism of teachers will assist them to become more accountable directly to those they serve, but that regional education officers will still perform indispensable functions aimed at improving the educational quality of schools.
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